Christopher Ezeala

Complete 2019 NFL International Pathway Program

Moritz Boehringer is back in the NFL. The German tight end, who became the first European player ever to be drafted without playing American college football back in 2016, has been allocated to the Bengals as part of the league’s international pathway program, per Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com.

Boehringer’s assignment to the Bengals completes this year’s program. Each season, teams in two divisions get a roster exemption to develop a player from another country. The player can be the 91st man on offseason rosters, and can be an 11th player on practice squads during the regular season. Boehringer was drafted by the Vikings, but spent his rookie season on the practice squad without ever appearing in a game. He came into the league as a receiver, but has since transitioned to tight end. He was with the Bengals as part of this program last year, and will be back in Cincy in 2019.

Here’s a list of the rest of the players selected to participate:

Baltimore Ravens

  • FB Christopher Ezeala

Buffalo Bills

  • RB Christian Wade

Cleveland Browns 

  • DB Tigie Sankoh

Miami Dolphins

  • DT Durval Neto

New England Patriots

  • TE/FB Jakob Johnson

New York Jets

  • RB/WR/KR Valentine Holmes

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • TE Christian Scotland-Williamson

The AFC North participated last year, but this year the AFC East is taking the place of the NFC South. Notably, Efe Obada was a participant in the program with the Panthers last year, and he went on to make Carolina’s 53-man roster last season. He was re-signed this offseason.

Each of the players assigned to the AFC North were with those teams last year. Scotland-Williamson is a former rugby player, while Boehringer, Sankoh, and Ezeala all played American football overseas before making the leap.

All of the AFC East players are new to the program. Given the Patriots’ track record of finding hidden gems, Johnson will likely end up leading the league in receiving yards at some point. Johnson was signed from the German football league. Neto was playing football in Brazil before being added to the Dolphins. Wade and Holmes are both former prominent rugby players.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/8/19

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2019 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • WR Duke Williams

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins

  • LB Sam Eguavoen

New England Patriots

  • C Jake Eldrenkamp

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles

  • LB Alex Singleton

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • K Matt McCrane

Seattle Seahawks

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals

Signed:

Practice squad:

Cleveland Browns

Claimed:

Cut:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Practice squad:

* = international player
** = practice squad exception

Ravens Reveal Final Cuts

Two prominent 2015 Ravens draft picks were informed they won’t be on this season’s initial 53-man roster. Breshad Perriman and defensive lineman Carl Davis, a third-round draft choice three years ago, did not make the cut.

Davis started nine games for Baltimore last season but has just 30 career tackles. He missed the entire 2016 season.

The Ravens will also cut guard Nico Siragusa, a 2017 fourth-rounder who saw an injury end his rookie season before it started. Recently coming off suspension, tight end Darren Waller also won’t be part of the Ravens’ season-opening roster.

Here is the full list of Baltimore’s cuts, the first group including the players who will head to the waiver wire:

Released:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Bengals Sign Moritz Böhringer

The impressive athleticism of German wide receiver Moritz Böhringer compelled the Vikings to take a flier on him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft. This year, the Bengals will take an up close look at him as a part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program, the league announced. 

Böhringer is the only European player in NFL history to be selected in the draft without playing any college football. His lack of experience probably put a cap on his pro prospects as he spent his rookie year on Minnesota’s practice squad and did not sign with another team after his release in September. He’s still pursuing his pro dreams, however, and he’s slated to enter the year as the eleventh player on the Bengals’ practice squad.

The league’s International Player Pathway program will allow each AFC North team to carry an extra overseas player on their practice squad in 2018. Unlike those on the traditional ten-man practice squad, the additional player cannot be activated during the season. Last year, the NFC South had the honors.

The Ravens will have German Football League linebacker Christopher Ezeala, the Browns will practice with former British American Football League defensive back/wide receiver Tigie Sankoh, and the Steelers will have former English professional rugby tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.